Landscape SA legislation commences around the state

A typical Kangaroo Island landscape of farmland. Photo Stan Gorton
A typical Kangaroo Island landscape of farmland. Photo Stan Gorton

South Australia's new natural resource management legislation know as Landscape SA commenced on July 1.

The Landscape South Australia Act 2019 has now replaced the Natural Resources Management Act 2004, providing a new framework to manage the state's soil, water, pest plants and animals, and biodiversity.

The state government is calling it a "back-to-basics approach giving local communities a far greater voice".

On Kangaroo Island the Landscape Board now replaces the KI Natural Resources Management (NRM) system.

KI Landscape Board chairman and Parndana farmer, Andrew "Aphid" Heinrich.

KI Landscape Board chairman and Parndana farmer, Andrew "Aphid" Heinrich.

On Kangaroo Island, the chairman of the KI Landscape Board and Parndana farmer, Andrew Heinrich welcomed the change over.

"The new KI Landscape Board is acutely aware of the challenges facing the Island as we start to recover from first the bushfires and now COVID-19," Mr Heinrich said. "This will be a key consideration in our planning for the future of the Island's landscape."

Mr Heinrich will be joined by six other KI locals on the board, being mayor Michael Pengilly, wildlife researcher Dr Peggy Rismiller OAM, apiarist Peter Davis, ecologist Associate Professor Gay Crowley and farmer Jenny Stanton.

One of the first initiatives to be delivered by the KI landscape boards will be a new Grassroots Grants program.

From mid-July, local community groups, not-for-profit organisations and volunteers will be able to apply for funding from the board to help them sustainably manage their local landscapes.

Funding could be used to either kick start a new project or build upon an existing one. Activities might include weed treatment, pest or disease management, fencing, erosion management, revegetation and community education activities.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said eight regional landscape boards would support local communities to be directly responsible for managing their region's natural resources.

They will also work alongside another new entity, Green Adelaide, which would be "an innovative and expert-based organisation charged with transforming Adelaide into a world-leading, sustainable, green and climate resilient city".

"We made a commitment to deliver a more effective, decentralised, back-to-basics system that gives communities a greater voice in natural resources management - and that's exactly what we've created," Mr Speirs said.

"The sustainable management of our precious landscapes is the responsibility of everyone, which is why local partnerships and supporting local priorities and solutions is a key part of the Landscape SA initiative.

"After two years of working with the community, we have fulfilled our election promise to put community at the centre of sustainably managing our state's landscapes, including greater accountability for how levies are spent and being at arm's length from government.

"We've also helped to address the cost of living pressures for households and businesses, by capping overall increases to landscape levies at the regional level by CPI.

"Landscapes SA is about building partnerships, rolling up your sleeves and working together to support our landscapes to thrive - leading to healthy and resilient communities, prosperous businesses and flourishing ecosystems."

One of the first initiatives to be delivered by the landscape boards and Green Adelaide is the new $2 million Grassroots Grants program.

From mid-July, local community groups, not-for-profit organisations and volunteers will be able to apply for funding from their regional landscape board to help them sustainably manage their local landscapes.

Funding could be used to either kick start a new project or build upon an existing one. Activities might include weed treatment, pest or disease management, fencing, erosion management, revegetation and community education activities.

For more information on the grassroots grants and a full list of landscape board members, visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au

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